How to Transition to a Tiny House

A small, but lovely home.
A small, but lovely home.

This post is not about personal experience.  Sadly, I think I could use about 5,000 square feet of house space just for me (I am repeating, I am not a hoarder, but I do have lots of projects).

A loved one went from over a 2,000 square feet home to a less than 600 square feet home.  This person did not need the extra space and wanted to trade the residential community for wide-open land.

A recent discussion made me really think about how much he had to cull from his possessions in order to make the downsize work.  Lifelong collections were given away (yes, that hurt me just to write).  Heirloom, but unnecessary, belongings were redistributed in the family.

My idea would be to store possessions, but my wise relative realized this would just prolonged the issue.

Wow! How freeing.

Recently, I spent time shopping  with this family member.  I wanted to purchase a gift for him.  However, my relative did not want anything.  He explained that he had no place to store extra items.

I think many of us are intrigued by tiny houses.  I am.  But, the reality is I am either not willing or incapable of downsizing.  For me, it should be a perfect alternative.  Less maintenance, less upkeep, less worries, less to clean.  More time, more money, more freedom.

I hope to one day convince myself to make the little leap.  But, for now, I am very proud of my relative who knows what he likes and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen.


So, here is the recipe I got from him for living in a tiny house:

  1.  Put what furniture, furnishings and wall hanging will fit, in your new tiny house.
  2. Sort your clothes to find you favorite items that fit, make you feel good, look good on you.  Be sure to cover all the seasons.  Stick to basics that are appropriate for your lifestyle and work.  Put the core items in your closet and drawers.  Chances are you will not have any room left over.  If you do, throw in a treat or two.  Or, better yet, leave the extra spaces for purchases.
  3. Put the basics of your kitchenwares in your tiny kitchen.  Just the basics, no gadgets or frills. If you can’t live without a particular gadget, let’s hope it can do double duty for something else.
  4. For your bathroom, you will need to take only the things you use.  Even that might be more than will fit. Most of us have more hair product than we actually use and we ladies have lots more makeup than we actually use on a daily basis. Now is the time to weed out!
  5. Everything else must go!  It is that simple.  You will cull much more than you get to keep.
  6. Cut deep so that you don’t have to go through your things twice.
  7. Heirlooms should be given to other family members.  Other items can be thrown away, given away, or sold.

In a small house, we will still want company and order, so you can’t just have stacks of storage boxes and no chairs.  Think about your lifestyle and what your requirements for life include:  Outdoor sports equipment?  Crafting/sewing machines?  Vacation mementos?  Will you be able to learn to live without them or do you need to find a creative way to store them at your tiny house?

Even if we are not moving to a tiny house, this might not be a bad exercise for all of us.  We could probably all live with less “stuff.”  As for my relative, he is loving his new living arrangement…and not missing any of his cast offs.

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